Amid Widespread Hardship, Tinubu Approved N90 Billion to Subsidise Cost of 2024 Hajj, Says Shettima


The Nigerian government announced that it has spent N90 billion to subsidize the cost of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage for citizens.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima disclosed this information on Wednesday during the inauguration of the 2024 National Hajj operation at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport in Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi State.

“You may recall that this year, we had a major challenge in announcing the final hajj fare for the 2024 Muslim pilgrimage due to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates,” Shettima was quoted as saying by the News Agency of Nigeria. 

“Bola Tinubu also works round the clock to control the downward spiral of our local currency to bring relief to our pilgrims and other Nigerians.

“A move that eventually succeeded in lowering the fare. Tinubu approved the release of N90 billion to subsidize the cost of pilgrimage for this year’s hajj.

“Due to this high regard, the government took time to carefully select men of integrity with administrative acumen and records of selfless dedication to manage the affairs of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria in the interest of Nigerian pilgrims.

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“Government at the highest level monitors all arrangements meant for the well-being of our pilgrims both in Saudi Arabia and within the country before embarking on the journey.

“We are aware of the provision put in place for the safety, security and comfort of the Nigerian contingent to the 2024 hajj of our pilgrims.”

“Indeed, it is through our collective prayers and individual contributions that our country will prosper,” Mr Shettima added.

SaharaReporters previously reported that Nigerian Muslim pilgrims who had already paid for the 2024 Hajj to Saudi Arabia demanded a refund after the country’s Hajj Commission instructed them to pay an additional N1.9 million in March.

Initially, in December 2023, the commission set the pilgrimage fare at N4.9 million per pilgrim based on an exchange rate of N897 to a dollar.

However, the commission later increased this amount by N1,918,032.91, setting a new total fare of N6.8 million with a deadline of March 28, 2024.

This sudden announcement caught many potential pilgrims off guard, prompting them to contact their pilgrims’ boards to request refunds of the N4.9 million deposit they had already paid.

In response, the Kwara State Pilgrims Welfare Board indicated that at least 100 intending pilgrims from the state would miss this year’s Hajj due to their inability to complete the additional N1.9 million required for the revised fare.

Alhaji AbdulSalam Abdulkadir, the agency’s executive secretary, revealed this during a sensitization program for intending pilgrims held in April.

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